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Manchester City agree personal terms with Jules Kounde, with just the fee to be decided

Jules Kounde
(Image credit: PA)

Europa League-winning defender Jules Kounde is close to a Manchester City transfer, according to reports.

Despite signing Nathan Aké from Bournemouth this summer for around £40m, City are keen on adding another centre-back to their ranks. With Vincent Kompany departing the club last year and Aymeric Laporte struggling with injuries over the last 12 months, City have looked threadbare at the back - which is one of the key reasons that they surrendered their title so meekly last season.

Against Crystal Palace last season, City ended up with Fernandinho paired with Rodri in defence. Pep Guardiola is said to be unconvinced with the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones anyway - who arrived at Eastlands for a combined £80m - and desperately wants reinforcements. 

Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked with a move to the Etihad all summer, but Napoli have not received a satisfactory offer for the Senegalese defender. At 29, City would perhaps not be seeing the best of him either - while Kounde still has room to grow into a world class defender.

Kounde came through the ranks at Bordeaux before moving to Sevilla last summer for €25 million. He played a huge role in the club's successful Europa League campaign, impressing against the likes of Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers along the way.

The 21-year-old has a release clause at Sevilla around £62m. Manchester City's opening bid for the player is believed to be around £46m, with the Cityzens hoping to talk Los Nervionenses down.

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Kounde has reportedly already agreed a five-year deal with the Manchester club. He would slot into Guardiola's defence as the first-choice on the right of Laporte, with Aké, Fernandinho and Stones as back-up across the central defensive positions. Despite being left-footed, Aké has played on the right side of central defence in the past for Bournemouth, most often with Lloyd Kelly on the left.

Aké's ability to play at left-back - a position he's played for the Netherlands national side - means that Man City may be open to letting Oleksandr Zinchenko leave the club. Zinchenko arrived at City as a midfielder but is considered more of a left-back these days and has inherited the No.11 shirt, which previous left-back Aleksandar Kolarov wore for the club.

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Zinchenko has been rumoured to be included in the Koulibaly coup and recently had to distance himself from his wife's comments, after Mrs Zinchenko Vlada Sedan hit at Pep Guardiola's line-up against Lyon in the Champions League, describing the "experimental tactic" as "a bummer". Sedan is a TV reporter in Ukraine, while Zinchenko appeared to agree with his wife's opinions on her YouTube channel, he later backed up his stance by defending his manager in a statement.

Nicolas Otamendi is the only other City player close to an exit right now, with a number of clubs in Serie A, including Inter Milan, interested in the Argentinian defender. 

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